This Is Me
I am Tori Barber, and this is my (UN)safe space. I prefer honesty and directness, so that is how I try to live. As a singer/songwriter, I have learned to express myself freely, even if somewhat “colorfully,” at times. Whiskey, snacks and coffee run my life during the kid’s naps, and that’s probably the most important thing to know about me, personally.
This Is My Family
By looking at us, you would think the #BarberBearFamily is a small one, but oh how very wrong you’d be. In our home, we have a Daddy Bear (my husband, Ross), a Mama Bear (me), a #RileyBear17 (the one in the adorable pigtails), a #KieranBear21 (das baby), two very large dogs (an American Akita, Kit, and a lab/pit mix named Apollo), and two cats (Dennis and Sassy).
My husband and I have been together since January 2013, and married since June 13th, 2015. (I like to think he’s a little crazy about me.) We welcomed Riley Bear to our little bubble of love on June 21st, 2017, and our lives have never been the same. Little did we know that we were bound for even more chaos on August 11, 2021, when Kieran joined the fold.
This Is Our Life Together
On August 27th, 2017, I was 34 weeks pregnant when my doctor noticed fluid around Riley’s heart in a routine ultrasound. By 36 weeks, Riley was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In the week that we were in the NICU after her birth, Riley’s hearing loss was also discovered. It wasn’t until August 2018 that she was officially diagnosed with a rare disease called Noonan Syndrome, which effects almost every major system of her body. She has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, petite growth, possible learning impairments, she is deaf (but uses cochlear implants), she has vision impairment, clotting issues, and the potential for many other issues that have yet to be discovered. We currently have 22 doctors and specialists that we use.
Kieran is still new around here, but he’s the picture of health in comparison to Riley Bear. It was the most challenging pregnancy that I’ve experienced, however. So bad that I had to stay away from the blog (and social media) the entire time! More on that in my posts.
This Is My Backpack
I started using a backpack for all of our trips to Children’s Health in Dallas (where we meet regularly with the Heart Failure Clinic, as Riley will eventually need a new heart), and after my mother bought us a pink JanSport, I couldn’t help finding more and more excuses to take it out. It’s even more convenient now that we haul around TWO little people. This thing holds EVERYTHING! Welcome to my adventures, those of my family, and my Pink JanSport Backpack!
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